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If you’re a millennial who’s unsure about St. Pete or Florida, think it’s for old people, racism/bigotry, etc., you’re not alone. I had similar thoughts before moving here too. Florida, in general, gets a bad wrap and is often made fun of by those of us from elsewhere. Some of it completely justified. The rest though, meaningless banter to share a bond of our own as non-Floridians I suppose.
Whenever I’m visiting friends and family in my hometown, Sacramento, I’m constantly asked when I’m moving back. They usually don’t like my answer because it involves me not returning. Once you visit though, especially a beach-lined, progressive town like St. Pete, it’s hard to leave. I could probably think of zillions of reasons why I don’t want to leave, but who has that kind of time or enough margaritas?
Check out my list of reasons why St. Pete is perfect for millennials!
9 Reasons Why Millennials Should Move to St. Pete
Low Cost of Living
Florida generally has a lower cost of living compared to the national average, but the Burg fares well on the affordability index both nationally and statewide. SmartAsset recently ranked St. Pete 39th for most affordable out of 115 cities across the country. It’s the 2nd most affordable city in Florida, behind Jacksonville and followed by neighboring Tampa.
Live, Work, and Play Locally
St. Pete has plenty of entertainment options within. You can find a wide array of restaurants in downtown, museums and street art in the Grand Central District, and enjoy bay or gulf living from pretty much anywhere. And the good news is that you can go to Clearwater or Tampa (30 minutes from DTSP), Anna Maria Island (45 minutes from DTSP), or Siesta Key (60 minutes from DTSP) for a quick change of scenery.
Arts & Culture
Once upon a time, St. Pete was nicknamed “God’s Waiting Room” due to the retirement home-feel of the town. Thankfully, St. Pete leaders had some foresight and embraced the arts early on, transforming downtown into what I consider a millennial euphoria. New boutiques, cafes, and restaurants are sprouting up constantly. The Chihuly Collection and the Morean Arts Center, as well as countless murals by local street artists.
One thing I love most about St. Pete is how friendly and genuine everyone is. From the first day I arrived until now, someone is always warm and saying “hello”. It’s almost a hippie vibe where everyone loves everyone, and that’s pretty amazing to me, especially in today’s climate.
St. Pete Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
With a year-round tropical climate that’s often dubbed “endless summer”, St. Pete hosts an array of events and services to encourage activity, especially outdoors. The Body Electric Yoga Company hosts free yoga in the Sundial Courtyard in Downtown St. Pete every third Saturday of the month. Bikes are available in select locations for you to rent and do some sight-seeing while you burn some calories. Parks and trails…
So, this is the part where I tell you that my goal in life was to always live in San Francisco, and you say “no wonder you love St. Pete!” I absolutely love SF. Half of my heart still lives there. When I moved to St. Pete, however, I quickly realized that this was more than a suitable alternative. St. Petersburg is home to Florida’s largest gay pride festival, St. Pete Pride. With projects like the new St. Pete Pier under construction and the return of the St. Pete-Tampa Cross Bay Ferry, things are surely moving forward.
St. Pete no longer has a budding food scene. The vibrant food scene is here and only destined to get better. Downtown St. Pete offers a variety of restaurants, bars, gastropubs, you name it, including some specializing in vegan and gluten-free options. If you’re into fresh seafood and beach views like I am, then you can always take a quick trip to the gulf side and fill up on authentic lobster rolls and fresh grouper sandwiches.
St. Petersburg is nicknamed the Sunshine City for holding the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine. 768 days, or approximately 2.1 years! With an average of 361 days of sunshine each year, it’s a well-deserving moniker. Though the summers can be wet and humid, the rest of the year more than makes up for it. The weather cools down, the humidity disappears, and the sun is like a blanket of warmth.
Beaches, Beaches, and More Beaches
Did I mention the beaches? One of the best parts about living in St. Petersburg (and Tampa Bay in general) is the year-round paradisiacal feel, making almost every day the perfect beach day. 35 miles of white sand bliss span the gulf coast of the region. Pass-a-grille Beach, Madeira Beach, and Clearwater Beach are just a few of my faves!
Visiting the Burg soon? Check out my post on where to stay in St. Pete!
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